Photos by Scobel Wiggins and Jeff Bell – UltiPhotos.com; Graphic by Kevin Lee

This is another installment of the preseason series where we ask Vancouver Nighthawks players how they keep in shape away from games and practices.

Gagan Chatha | #10, Offensive Cutter

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

In the offseason, I like to go to the gym and work out. I’ll have three different days that focus on different major parts of the body and one day to do everything. Along with that, I started doing Air Alert, a set of Plyometric exercises that I used to do as a kid whenever I wanted to be like Vince Carter. This offseason, I got back to it, and it really improved my speed and vertical.

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

Aside from games and practices, I work out and do sprinting at a field near my house. Whenever I’m bored, I throw a disc up in the air in my house and try to catch it at my peak so I can work on timing my jumps.

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

On game days I like to mentally prepare myself by playing video games (Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros 64) because it gives me a sense of competition without actually exerting any energy. I also love to get physically involved so a game of Prison Rules (a mini, mini Ulti game with no rules) gets me going.

Morgan Hibbert | #8, Defensive Cutter

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

Going to the gym and lifting heavy things: squats, deadlifts, cleans, bench press, standing press. I also try to cross train by playing different sports in the winter. This year I took up squash.

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

I have a weekly training routine that I try to follow very closely. At various times throughout the year the focus shifts somewhat, and currently it is fairly balanced. I work out every day of the week. One day is always a rest day, but that involves stretching or a bike ride or getting treated by my physical therapist. The other workouts will be one day in the gym lifting heavy things (strength), one day lifting heavy things quickly (power and explosion) along with a bunch of jumping exercises, one day of stability and functional movement exercises and one day on the track (speed and agility). Throw in a couple of practices and the week fills up quickly! Oh, and throwing, always lots of throwing. I’ve noticed that throwing frisbees well is important in Ultimate.

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

In the morning, I get out and throw and try to make sure I get some light movement going to loosen the body and get everything feeling fresh. Any body maintenance that is needed will happen then too. I try to have a big early lunch, followed by a quick power nap. I’ll spend some quiet time visualizing my opponent for the day, and what I have to do that night. I then try to head to the stadium a little bit early and go for a walk, soaking in the ambiance. At this point I try to leave behind all the worries of the rest of the world and focus solely on the task at hand that night.

Kirk Savage | #91, Offensive Handler

1) What is your favourite offseason workout?

In the offseason I am generally as active as possible. I play ball hockey once or twice a week as I really enjoy the game and it keeps a baseline of fitness going. In my younger years, I also used to play goaltimate once a week. This really helped my skill development and fitness as goaltimate is such a great cross training sport for Ultimate. Making regular goaltimate games is challenging now as I live out of town and have other responsibilities, so I have been spending more time at the gym, two or three times a week. A typical workout is: I run for two miles, stretch, do core work, and lift some weights.

Maybe the biggest change to my workouts is that I can’t eat nearly as much as I used to! I have to watch my diet carefully and try to eat smaller portions and make better choices.

2) What do you do during the week aside from games and practices?

I do a lot of visualizing and thinking about game situations. Now that there is so much footage available online, I will spend some time watching games and looking for patterns and plays.

3) What do you do on game day to get ready to play?

I make sure that I have eaten enough to have energy for the game, but not so much that it makes me feel heavy. I like to get to the field early, do warm up throws from all directions, practice long throws, time some jumps. Just prior to game time, I like to make a couple of blade sky catches as that fires me up! Playing Ultimate is as much mental as it is physical. If I can get in the right headspace, that confidence spills into the game and is infectious with teammates. That can create some powerful momentum that helps to win games.

The Nighthawks home season opens in Vancouver against the San Francisco Dogfish at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium on Easter Sunday, April 20.

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